The Weakening of the Hegemon and the Future of the Liberal International Order

  •  Mikolaj Lisewski    


The hereby paper presents a theoretical approach to the U.S.–China geopolitical rivalry as the process of dispersion of power from the hegemon to the challenger [Allison] that may toward, through the sphere of influence fragmentation processes, to the polycentricity of the international relations system. In this work the author presents a new theoretical approach to the U.S.–China political rivalry understood as a key element of a process of changing the model of the global hegemonic leadership, shaped most fully since 1991. The paper presents the concept of two theoretical levels – the rational strategy and the political vibrancy – which are a necessary context for identifying the nature of given decision-making processes of the main subjects of contemporary international relations. Thus, through the abovementioned concept the sino-american relations are explained within the methods that are being used by states with particular emphasis on analyzing the operations of the People's Republic of China. Furthermore, the author reasons why China is withdrawing from the use of soft power – understood in the terms of J. S. Nye’s – and why it primarily uses the linking power and sharp power [Walker, Ludwig]. The article ends with a summary in which author, based on the information presented, tries to answer the question – why the liberal international order remains uncertain (or is about to fail).

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